Having my baby daughter made me more determined to write my first book
An Irish writer has been shortlisted in an international competition which could see her land a life-changing two book deal.
Amanda Cinelli, who is based in Newbridge, Co Kildare, is one of ten authors to make the final of Harlequin's So You Think You Can Write competition. She is the only Irish entrant to feature.
"I entered the competition two years ago with the same manuscript and didn't make the final cut but an editor did express an interest," said Amanda.
"She asked me to send her the completed manuscript but I panicked and had doubts about my writing so I never did."
But Amanda was inspired to re-enter the competition this year, after having her daughter Zara in January.
"I thought having my first baby would make writing difficult but it made me all the more dedicated.
"The prize is a book deal for two novels so it would obviously be life changing.
"I am not working at the moment so it would be a huge opportunity for me to win the competition," she said.
Amanda's manuscript ‘Resisting The Sicilian Playboy’ tells the story of a thirtysomething wedding planner who must rely on the owner of a Italian castle to pull off the celebrity wedding of the year.
While the theme of the novel is light, Amanda said books geared towards female readers can be misinterpreted as fluffy.
"I think women like to read romance because the ending is often happy and it's an escape.
"But that doesn't mean the books don't deal with serious issues. For example my heroine is infertile which is an aspect of her life she and many Irish women struggle with."
You can vote for Amanda's novel here.